COLUMBIA: SC mayor signs bill allowing CBD oil to treat epilepsy - WNCN: News, Weather

SC mayor signs bill allowing CBD oil to treat epilepsy

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CBD oil is derived from a strain of medical marijuana and is believed to reduce seizures in epileptic children. CBD oil is derived from a strain of medical marijuana and is believed to reduce seizures in epileptic children.
COLUMBIA, S.C. -

South Carolina's governor signed into law Tuesday a bill allowing people with severe epilepsy to use CBD oil, which comes from the marijuana plant, as a treatment option.

The oil must be prescribed by a doctor.

CBD oil, also known as cannabis oil or cannabidiol, has almost none of the mind-altering substance in marijuana.

"The young girl that inspired me to file this bill, a 6-year-old named Mary Louise Swing in Charleston, has up to 150 seizures an hour, and with medication, conventional pharmaceutical medication, that gets knocked down to about 30-40 a day," said Sen. Tom Davis (R-Beaufort), who sponsored the Senate version of the bill that eventually became law.

"But with CBD oil, anecdotal evidence is and others have gotten relief where the pharmaceuticals don't provide it. So we're talking about changing some lives in South Carolina, so it's a really great day."

The bill took effect as soon as the Gov. Nikki Haley signed it Monday; but since CBD oil has been illegal, it’s not immediately available in the state.

The law also creates a study committee to make recommendations for how to grow the plants in the state and dispense the CBD oil.

"I believe that in the future we may be a place where we can produce this drug so that children in the South, in South Carolina and on the East Coast, would be able to come to South Carolina in order to have this kind of treatment, provided that we can come up with a plan in the future for the lawful cultivation of the genetically-engineered plant, which is what the goal of the study committee is," said Rep. Jenny Horne (R-Summerville), who sponsored the House version of the bill.

Late last month, North Carolina Rep. Pat McElraft (R-Carteret County) introduced legislation legalizing CBD oil in the state.

McElraft insists the "Hope 4 Haley and Friends" bill does not legalize medical marijuana, rather "this is only a medicine for these children so that they can develop motor skills."

"I am adamantly opposed to marijuana, to the legalization of marijuana," McElraft said. "This is a hemp oil bill that's high in CBD, which is the healing part of the brain. But it's very low on THC -- less than 0.3 percent. You can drink a whole bottle of it and never get high."

The bill will have to go through two committees before it goes up for a vote in the House. If it passes the House, it will go to the Senate and then Gov. Pat McCrory.

WNCN contributed to this report

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